The Safe Schools program aims to help schools foster a safe environment that is supportive and inclusive of LGBTI students, but few school programs have received such sustained political and public attention, or generated such polarised responses. Can we really expect anything else though, when a curriculum challenges mainstream views and actively pushes for social and cultural change? In this session, we will take a look at the history and future of the Safe Schools program and curriculum, and the politicisation of anti-bullying and other sexuality education curricula in Australian schools. How have programs like this struck a balance between the expectations and opinions of students, parents, educators, politicians and the public? And what prospects are there for finding a way through the current public and political discourse on Safe Schools in Australia, and on sexuality education in schools more broadly?

Anne Mitchell is an Emeritus Professor at La Trobe University, a community development worker and an adult educator with over twenty years experience in the field of sexual health. She has a background in secondary teaching and adult education and has been working in the field of sexuality education, sexual health and STI prevention for twenty years. She has had extensive experience in the area of sex education in schools, including developing the national curriculum package and support materials, and was one of the leading figures at ARCSHS when they developed and led the Safe Schools program.

Date and time: Thursday 12 April, 6.30 – 8pm, The Alderman.